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Backstreet Boys Look To Liberated Future

of the Oakland Press

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The Backstreet Boys don’t want it that way anymore.

“That” is the group’s relationship with Jive Records, its longtime label and home during the group’s multi-platinum late ’90s run. Even as it tours to promote last year’s “This is Us,” which debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, the quartet has decided to part ways with Jive, which will release Backstreet Boys’ next album in Japan only, and plot its next course of action.

“It’s a very amicable situation, no hard feelings,” notes the group’s Howie Dorough. “We’re very appreciative of what they’ve done for us over 15 years, but we all felt it was time to change. We’re excited about new opportunities coming around the corner for us.”

And those would be? “We’re actually in the midst of talking about all that right now,” says Dorough, 36, who’s also “a little over halfway” finished with a solo album. “We have several options right now to look into, and whatever feels natural and comes to the table and makes the most sense is the direction we’ll go.

“Leaving your comfort zone is always a little scary, but it’s also very exciting. We’re embracing it.”

The Boys, meanwhile, are enjoying the embrace of fans during its current tour, which features all the old hits as well as “bells and whistles” such as four female dancers, visual projects and a DJ rather than a full band.

“The music on (‘This Is Us’) lent itself to a little more electronic kind of sound,” Dorough explains. “It’s really funny; when you tell people a lot of times there’s no band, they’re like, ‘What? No band? I didn’t even miss the band.’

“It so goes to show you that when we put on a great show, the focus stays on us. There’s no need for distraction, you know?”

Backstreet Boys and Mindless Behavior perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 18, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $49.50 and $36.50 pavilion, $15 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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